The below is an extract from the letter issued by DCLG today.

It has been brought to DCLG’s attention that some Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) have received correspondence containing the following, or similar, text:

“We have obtained your details from the National Database as we have an EPC job in your postcode area.

We have an EPC instruction for a property that is about to have Solar Panels installed.

The required procedure is as follows; You will be required to issue a draft EPC initially as if the Panels had been installed.

Please record the Roof Orientation, Roof Slope and Overshading The kWp figure will be supplied for you.

Following completion of the PV installation we will provide the MCS Certificate and a photograph of the panels in order for you to lodge the EPC.

Your invoice can be submitted for immediate payment following the initial survey. You will not be required to return to the property.”

The Department does not consider any EPC that has been produced in line with the instructions contained in this or similar correspondence to be compliant with the Scheme Operating Requirements as it appears to allow an EPC to be produced without a visit to a site where the presence of the PV panel can be verified by the EA. Schemes shall, with immediate effect, consider DEAs who are found to have produced EPCs in line with these instructions to have committed a serious breach of the Code of Conduct and shall take appropriate disciplinary action. This requirement shall not however be retrospective.

Schemes shall require DEAs to produce EPCs on the basis of the evidence about the physical characteristics of the building at the time that the visual inspection is carried out. Schemes shall ensure that any documentary evidence provided by DEAs about work that has been carried out in relation to the physical characteristics of the building only concerns work that was complete at the time of the visual inspection. Schemes shall not permit DEAs to use evidence that relates to work carried out after the visual inspection.

We appreciate that you may have received differing advice in the past but the message from DCLG is now clear.

It is important that you start complying with the above immediately, as failure to do so could result in a serious breach of the Code of Conduct and disciplinary action taken. we will be working to the above method with effect from the 28th June 2012.